So Where Do We Think Chris Paul Lands?

With the Billy Donovan news yesterday the story quickly shifted to what this means for Chris Paul and his future with the Thunder. Common sense tells you that if they were moving on from their coach largely due to a focus on a rebuild, then keeping Chris Paul around didn't make too much sense. You may as well flip him for as many assets as you can get to help position your franchise forward. I feel like now it makes a lot more sense why Paul was getting so emotional in that video after they were eliminated. Something tells me this Billy Donovan move wasn't a surprise to him.

So now the question becomes where the hell is Paul going? First, let's talk about the financials, because honestly that's the biggest piece of this puzzle

I think we can assume that there is no way Paul is turning down that $44M player option after next season, so whoever trades for him is getting him for at least 2 years. But as you can see, that salary is high as shit which makes finding a trade partner pretty tough. The reason the CP3/Westbrook trade was possible was because their salaries were so close. I know the hot take in the streets right now is that he finds his way to the Bucks, but I don't know how they even do that. This is what their salaries look like next season


They really don't have that great of draft picks to offer either, with only a 2020 IND first to deal. Unless there is a third team out there that would be willing to help out, how does this even happen. They'd obviosly have to move Eric Bledsoe, but who wants that contract? He still has next year at $16M and a year after at $18M. 

The Sixers could certainly use an upgrade at point guard, and they do have the Horford/Tobias Harris deals to help make the money work, but how do either of those guys fit into what the Thunder want to do? Why on earth would they want to pay an old ass Horford all that money or be stuck with the worst contract in the NBA in Tobias Harris during a rebuild? You want to be as flexible as possible as you go through a rebuilding process, not be committed to max money for a player who stinks out loud. The whole point is to bottom out, not bring in veterans. If that was the case then they should just keep the vets they have. Plus, what draft capital do the Sixers offer? OKC's 2020 1st? 

Of course, the Knicks will always be included in these things. They offer that unique combination of young talent plus draft capital that could be attractive to a rebuild. While I think it would be insane if the Knicks gave up their lotto pick this year, can't you see that being the exact thing James Dolan does in this situation if he learns that he could have Chris Paul? It would make no sense whatsoever so they'd most likely give a couple of other future firsts instead. They can offer guys like Julius Randle/Knox/Frankie Smokes who all fit the Thunder timeline a little better. You also have to factor in that simply getting away from the Knicks probably makes those guys a little better. 

I imagine LeBron will be interested in bringing his buddy in, especially since their window to win is right now. But that would require the Thunder to be willing to take on the Lakers trash. Kyle Kuzma would headline that deal,and they don't have the draft capital to make it worth OKCs time. I can't see them being willing to help the Lakers win a title so they can add Kyle Kuzma. 

That's why I think if this trade does happen, it's going to have to be a big 3 teamer or something along those lines that we aren't even thinking about. A one team for one team swap just doesn't make too much sense when you look at the landscape of what teams would offer to make the money work. It's not like Paul doesn't have value, this season proved he still has a lot left in the tank, so you don't just give that away for free. Worst case you hold onto Paul and let him continue to mentor SGA and then maybe flip him at the deadline or something.

So now I'll ask you. Where do you think the Point Gawd will be playing next season/where would you like to see him land?